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Sectarian divisions exploited by ISIS still endure in Iraq

Sectarian divisions exploited by ISIS still endure in Iraq
From CBC - September 5, 2017

As triumphalist pronouncements of the vanquishing of ISIS in Mosul continue even as abductions, killings and ethnic cleansing at the hands of the Iraqi army and associated Shia militias persistthe consequences of Iraq's pyrrhic victory become evermore apparent.

"We announce the total victory for Iraq and all Iraqis," Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said back on July 11, on the edge of Mosul's ravaged old city.

"This great feast day crowned the victories of the fighters and the Iraqis for the past three years," he said.

But one would hope that after so many examples of failed military hubrisGeorge W. Bush's "mission accomplished" springs to mindIraq's leaders would be more careful about broadcasting their prowess and apparent triumph.

After all, the threat of ISIS has not disappeared. If anything, with human rights abuses carrying on against Mosul's beleaguered citizens40,000 of whom perished in the U.S. backed campaign to "liberate" the city and family members of alleged ISIS fighters being sent to byzantine "re-education" campsthe sectarian divisions exploited by the Islamic State will likely endure.

According to a recent Human Rights Watch report, the U.S.-trained Iraqi 16th division has been linked to war crimes in Mosul.

"Human Rights Watch has documented Iraqi forcesdetaining and holdingat least 1,200 men and boys in inhumane conditions without charge, and in some casestorturingandexecutingthem under the guise of screening them for ISIS-affiliation," the report reads.

It also details thediscoveryof a mass execution site, gruesome accounts of decapitation of women ISIS fighters, and children as young as 14 with alleged ISIS ties being summarily executed and left to rot in the sun. Lawyers are now being arrested for representing ISIS suspects and tried for their supposed crimes in kangaroo courts.

@UNICEFEducation

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